The NY bullpen choked up 9 runs in the last 3 innings and buried the team in a hole there was no coming out of as the Mets dropped the series finale against the Phillies, 10-6.
The Bad Stuff:
- Dillon Gee left with a 3-1 lead and the W in sight. Three pitches from Bobby Parnell later, and that was all for naught as Carlos Ruiz went deep to tie it at 3, the second time the Phillies tied it a half-inning after the Mets took the lead.
- In the 8th, Jon Rauch put runners on the corners before striking out Ty Wigginton. Shane Victorino hit a hard sac fly to center that brought home speedy Juan Pierre to give Philadelphia the lead.
- For the second time in three days, the Mets were down just one run in the top of the 9th, and a good showing from the bullpen would give them a good chance in the bottom half against a pitcher they had gotten to earlier in the year (Jonathan Papelbon). Unfortunately, the Mets would come up in the 9th with not a single-run deficit but one of too many to overcome. Tim Byrdak and Ramon Ramirez split the runs allowed on Jimmy Rollins's 3-run homer, and 2 more runs came in on Chris Schwinden's watch. When the dust settled it was 10-3. Even the best teams can't come back from a 7-run deficit with 3 outs to go.
- This horrid outing skyrockets the bullpen's ERA to a major league-worst 5.45.
- The Mr. Q Magic finally ran out as Omar Quintanilla went 0-4 with a strikeout.
- The bullpen's collapse wasted what would've been a really quality win by Dillon Gee, who out-dueled Cliff Lee and went 6.2 innings of 2-run, 6-hit ball, walking 1 and striking out 5.
- New York showed their mettle in the 9th inning, fighting back for 3 runs in garbage time to cut the final deficit. Lucas Duda led off with his second home run of the game, giving him 3 on this homestand and the team lead with 7 round-trippers. Andres Torres doubled in Kirk Nieuwenhuis with 2 outs and Daniel Murphy singled Torres home to make it 6 for the home team.
- David Wright led off the scoring in the 1st inning, just barely missing a home run to dead center but settling for an RBI double. David went just 1-5 in the game but picked up another RBI in this series.
The rough outing from the bullpen will take the headlines tomorrow morning, but that's old news already. The 3-run 9th gets rid of some of the bad taste in Met fans' mouths. Lucas Duda's hitting the ball hard now, like he should. And as the SNY crew pointed out from the Pepsi Porch in right field, that last frame was a snapshot of the team mentality on the season: even with their backs against the wall in impossible situations, they refuse to give up.
The Mets have their first off day in almost three weeks tomorrow as they get ready for a 4-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals and welcome back "party" for one Carlos Beltran. It will be interesting to see what the Amazin' faithful will do when he first comes up to the plate; expect a post from me on Rising Apple tomorrow that addresses that reunion.